Statement – Silvercrest Foods

Press Statement
Wednesday, 16th January 2013

ABP FOOD GROUP TO INTRODUCE NEW TESTING REGIME, INCLUDING DNA TESTING, FOR ALL MEAT PRODUCTS FOLLOWING FSAI FINDINGS

ABP takes this matter extremely seriously and apologises for the understandable concern this issue has caused.

ABP Food Group companies have never knowingly bought, handled or supplied equine meat products and we acknowledge the understandable concern created as a result of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s DNA frozen beef burger test results.

This issue only affects frozen beef burgers supplied by Silvercrest Foods and Dalepak Hambleton, and while there is no food safety issue, a full withdrawal was implemented.

Our group companies only buy meat from licensed and approved EU suppliers. These results relate only to where beef based products have been sourced by those suppliers from the Continent. Only a small percentage of meat is currently procured from outside of the UK & Ireland. Fresh meat products are unaffected.

We are shocked by the result of these tests, and are currently at a loss to explain why one test showed 29% equine DNA.

Current investigations are centred on beef products which originated from two suppliers, and we have today dispatched auditors to their sites to conduct unannounced spot checks. We are conducting our own DNA tests on a wide number of samples and expect the results in the coming days.

While extensive and thorough safety checks are conducted on all meat products, the industry does not routinely DNA test meat products for species. As a result of this incident we are implementing a new testing regime for meat products which will include DNA analysis.

Should our own testing prove positive, we are also considering our options in respect of the two suppliers concerned. It is vital that the integrity of the supply chain is assured and we are committed to restoring consumer confidence.

The company will not be commenting further at this time.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of ABP Food Group by Heneghan PR

Media Contacts:

Nigel Heneghan / Rachel Watchorn
Heneghan PR
Tel: 01 660 7395